Canada had to have a perfect day on Sunday in Osijek if they were going to beat Croatia and advance to the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas quarter-finals, but Borna Coric sealed the tie for the home country thanks to a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win over Denis Shapovalov in the fourth match.
Shapovalov sees his three match win streak in Davis Cup ended by the no. 47 ranked Croat. Coric, who opened the tie with victory over Vasek Pospisil, was the star of the weekend for Croatia. He played a virtually flawless match from start to finish, committing very few unforced errors and earning one break of serve in each set.
“He’s more experienced than me in clay he grew up on it and it showed. He played unbelievable. I tried to stay close to him hoping for an opportunity but credits to him he never dropped his level. I thought I actually played well but it wasn’t enough today,” said Shapovalov.
This was Frank Dancevic’s first tie as captain for the Canadian team after taking over from Martin Laurendeau who held the role since 2004.
“We were so close to winning that match yesterday and it could have changed a lot today’s match. Borna would have had a lot more pressure but today he was very relaxed and comfortable. Denis did everything he could do today, he tried to change a few things in his game, but Borna pushed him to make mistakes,” Dancevic said.
Croatia, ranked no. 5 in the Davis Cup rankings and champion of the event in 2016, advance to the quarter-finals to face Kazakhstan. Meanwhile, Canada, ranked no. 15 in Davis Cup, will now play the World Group playoffs from September 14-16, 2018 to try and stay among the top 16 nations in the world for 2019. Canada, who will learn the identity their next opponent in April, has been part of the World Group for the past seven years.
Davis Cup World Group first round tie
Canada vs. Croatia
February 2-4, 2018
Sportska Dvorana Gradski Vrt, Osijek
|Friday, February 2nd||First singles match||Coric d. Pospisil 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2|
|Friday, February 2nd||Second singles match||Shapovalov d. Galovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-2|
|Saturday, February 3rd||Doubles match||Dodig/Skugor d. Nestor/Pospisil 2-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 6-2|
|Sunday, February 4th||Third singles match||Coric d. Shapovalov 6-4, 6-4, 6-4|
Photos by: Kyle Clapham